Solar Roadways demonstration parking lot

Joni Mitchell was wrong when she sang out against paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. Ok, maybe not. Still, we think the demonstration project just built by the folks over at Solar Roadways would get a pass from the Canadian singer-songwriter. That's because the real estate in question is covered with a textured glass surface that can, among many other things, generate low-carbon electricity, melt snow, and throw up safety warnings with its integrated LED lighting system.

This smart road has grown from its original conception to award-winning early prototype to actual installation in a few short years and is now ready for its next step: manufacturing. To do that, the family-based startup needs money for staff and other costs. While it has received funding from the Department of Transportation for its efforts so far, it's now turning to the world at large with an IndieGoGo campaign for help moving this ambitious vision forward.

If successful, the concept will next start appearing in parking lots, driveways and sidewalks before taking that final leap toward paving the way to a solar-powered paradise. Sound too idealistic, too utopian? Well, maybe. But, big change doesn't happen by thinking small. While we consider a lyric from another musician – "You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one" - scroll down for a fresh video from Solar Roadways discussing the possibilities of this awesome idea, and showing off what they have achieved so far.